Gas Pains in Richmond Valley

Here is the latest media release from the Richmond Valley Group Against Gas.  Editor

Some wag 'modified' the Coraki-Casino road sign to be reflect Richmond Valley Council's blind obedience to the Coal Seam Gas industry

Some wag ‘modified’ the Coraki-Casino road sign to reflect Richmond Valley Council’s blind obedience to the Coal Seam Gas industry which seems to be running council at present.   Gasland is reference to the American film ‘Gaslands’ which brought the CSG and unconventional gas industry problems to international attention.

Richmond Valley Council has commissioned its own telephone survey of
ratepayers and residents about Coal Seam Gas and a range of other council matters.

The telemarketing company Micromex is running the survey at present. But
it’s not clear who’s paying the bill.

Ratepayers expense? Or is it being paid for by the gas industry or the
NSW government in order to try and give some legitimacy to an industry which
has been rejected by the residents of Northern NSW in other polls ?

It would appear the General Manager John Walker has commissioned the
survey of his own accord without council endorsement.

The Casino Gas group today sounded a warning about the survey because of
the risk of questions being loaded to suit the General Manager, Mayor’s and
State government agenda on Coal Seam Gas.”Ratepayers should listen carefully to any question about Coal Seam Gas  and think carefully before answering it.

If asked ‘would you support CSG production in Richmond Valley’ with the qualification ‘if scientific study showed it was OK’ ratepayers might be inclined to answer ‘yes’ because it
has the backing of science. But the truth of the matter is the jury is out
and right now there’s much evidence that Coal Seam Gas is a problem for
health, water supplies, pollution and global climate change and Australia’s
commitment to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

It is unlikely that the growing evidence against gas is about to make an abrupt U-turn”.

“And then there are the economic arguments against Coal Seam Gas which
show it is a very expensive alternative for electricity production compared
with alternative non-distributed forms of generation including solar and
wind which are now cheaper.”

So the more appropriate answer is NO, or just decline from answering. The
question is loaded to give a ‘yes’ answer and there are no safeguards in
place to stop the answer being used inappropriately to make it appear that
the community supports CSG.

You can also contact council and ask why they haven’t spent our precious rates on asking if ratepayers wish the industry to go ahead or be stopped right now. That question would be much more respectful of current community sentiments.

The Casino Gas group said ratepayers should know there is a carefully
orchestrated campaign between Richmond Valley Council and the State
government to force a CSG industry on the community.

Page from a Richmond Valley Council glossy brochure prepared for a Regional Development Australia held in April 2010 at the Casino RSM.  The meeting was not open to the public which probably explains why the community knew nothing about it when council tried to soak the community for a developmental officer for gas in an application for a Special Rates Variation.  IPART rejected its application because of lack of consultation with the community.  Nothing seems to have change.  The recent Positioning Statement on CSG from Council is a  good example of the community being the last to know!

Page from a Richmond Valley Council glossy brochure prepared for a Regional Development Australia meeting held in April 2010 at the Casino RSM. The meeting was not open to the public which probably explains why the community knew nothing about it when council tried to soak ratepayers for a developmental officer for gas in an application for a Special Rates Variation. IPART rejected its application because of lack of consultation with the community. Nothing seems to have change. The recent Positioning Statement on CSG from Council is a good example of the community being the last to know!

It is no coincidence that the survey is being done at the same time the
state government, mayor and general manager have announced today the
appointment of a CSG officer for Richmond Valley.

And it follows on from a Positioning Statement about CSG prepared by the
General Manager which Council snuck through just before Christmas in a
Mayoral Minute which didn’t appear in the Business Papers to avoid the
opportunity for community comment.

A spokesperson for the Casino Gas Group said today “it is pretty obvious
Council’s in bed with the “Unconventional Gas Industry”. It hasn’t been listening
to a word we or the community have been saying.

Editor’s Note:  The “featured image” at the top of the full ‘Gas Pains’ media release is part of a picture of Metgasco ponds built on a Richmond Valley Council quarry on the Bruxner Highway to take waste water from mining.  The green rectangular pond shown in the top of the picture is 15 times large than the pond for which Metgasco had permission and there is a second pond below it and to the right for which it had no permission at all.   It is clear from the picture that the larger pond has overflowed on the upper right side (light green on the map).  Council has been in bed with the CSG industry for a long time.

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